Saudi archaeological exhibition to go on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi

Saudi archaeological exhibition to go on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi
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Statue of an eagle standing on a bull’s head: 1-100 CE United Arab Emirates, Ed-Dur Stone. (Department of Tourism and Archaeology – Umm Al Quwain)
Saudi archaeological exhibition to go on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi
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Stele representing a man with dagger: 1st–3rd century BCE Calcite alabaster, 57 × 30 cm Qaryat al-Faw. (Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage)
Saudi archaeological exhibition to go on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi
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Burial mask: 1-100 CE Saudi Arabia, Eastern Province, Thaj, Tell al-Zayer Gold. (Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage)
Saudi archaeological exhibition to go on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi
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Head of a man: 100 BCE-200 CE Saudi Arabia, Qaryat al-Faw Cast bronze. (Saudi Commission for Tourism and National Heritage)
Updated 30 September 2018

Saudi archaeological exhibition to go on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi

Saudi archaeological exhibition to go on display at Louvre Abu Dhabi

ABU DHABI: Saudi Arabian artifacts exhibition, Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia, is set to open in the Louvre Abu Dhabi on November 8th under the patronage of Abu Dhabi Crown Prince Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan.

The exhibition, the second of the museum’s new culture season, will explore the rich history of the Arabian Peninsula through archaeological and cultural artefacts, including a selection of rare pieces from the United Arab Emirates.

The exhibition was conceived through cooperation between Saudi Commission for Tourism & National Heritage (SCTH) and the Musée du Louvre in Paris, where it was first exhibited in 2010. It is one of the most renowned Saudi exhibitions on a global scale, introducing Arabia's cultural and historical heritage to over five million visitors worldwide. The exhibition has presented 14 acclaimed editions throughout Europe, the USA and Asia, sharing the story of this unique region with audiences around the world, before coming to Louvre Abu Dhabi where it will be enriched by selected pieces from the UAE.

“The United Arab Emirates and Kingdom of Saudi Arabia have always been connected by a common heritage and history,” says H.E. Mohamed Khalifa Al Mubarak, Chairman of the Department of Culture and Tourism – Abu Dhabi. “This year’s edition of the exhibition will be a reflection of the rich, shared cultural heritage and deep-rooted history between the two nations.”

Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia explores five chapters in the history of the Arabian Peninsula, spanning early prehistoric settlements; maritime exploration; caravan trading routes that linked the region with Asia, Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean; routes of holy pilgrimage emerging in the 7th century CE; and the social and economic developments between the 14th and 16th centuries that set the stage for the modern day region.

“The Arabian Peninsula has been a place of exchange, culture and civilisation since earliest Antiquity, and Louvre Abu Dhabi is deeply rooted in the region’s unique history and context,” says Manuel Rabaté, Director of Louvre Abu Dhabi. “The exhibition is an important opportunity for us to re-examine and celebrate this rich heritage through a remarkable series of artefacts, expanding on the regional pieces in our permanent collection to tell an Arabian story from a new perspective.”

Jamal S. Omar, Vice President of Antiquities and Museums Department at STCH, underscores the significance of the exhibition, given the special relationship between the two neighbouring countries and their shared cultural and historical heritage. It is especially notable, he adds, in that this is the exhibition’s first showing in the Arabian Peninsula outside of Saudi Arabia, shedding light on the ancient civilizations and trade routes of the Arabian Peninsula. The exhibition has been followed closely by His Royal Highness Prince Sultan bin Salman bin Abdul Aziz, President of the STCH, in view of the esteem that Saudi Arabia has for the United Arab Emirates, its rulers and its people. "Although the exhibition focuses on Saudi Arabia's civilizations, it also highlights the civilizations of the Arabian Peninsula including major hubs along the ancient trade routes, which were important links in the cultural and historical narrative of this highly strategic region," Mr. Omar comments.

“From overland camel caravans and maritime trading routes to paths walked by religious pilgrims, the roads of Arabia have always been of vital importance to economic development, early settlement and the exchange of ideas, customs and cultures across the region and beyond,” says Dr. Souraya Noujaim, Scientific, Curatorial and Collection Management Director at Louvre Abu Dhabi. “These roads are the thread of this exhibition, which presents a journey retracing exchanges, circulation and encounters in the Arabian Peninsula. Dynamic archaeological research in recent years has shed new light on the longstanding history and diversity of the region, and excitingly, the exhibition now includes a selection of objects from the UAE.”

The expanded exhibition to be displayed at Louvre Abu Dhabi is curated by Mr. Omar, Dr. Noujaim, and Noëmi Daucé, Chief Curator for Archaeology at Louvre Abu Dhabi. Louvre Abu Dhabi is assisted by two scientific advisors from the Musée du Louvre: Marianne Cotty from the Department of Near Eastern Antiquities and Carine Juvin from the Department of Islamic Art.

For the first time, the exhibition will feature important archaeological pieces from the United Arab Emirates, including a pearl found in Umm Al Quwain dating from 5500-5300 BCE (loaned by Umm Al Quwain Museum); a stone decorated with a wild camel from the late 3rd millennium BCE (loaned by Al Ain Museum), a remarkable 1st millennium BCE pieces from Saruq al Hadid (loaned by Dubai Municipality), as well as objects from Julfar (loaned by the National Museum of Ras Al Khaimah).

These will be displayed alongside significant artefacts from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, including outstanding funerary Neolithic stela, a 3rd-century BCE bronze statue head (loaned by the Department of Archaeology at King Saud University); a 1st-century BCE gold funerary mask from Eastern Province (loaned by the National Museum in Riyadh), 9th-century engraved steles (loaned by King Fahad National Library); 4th-millennium BCE Anthropomorphic stele (loaned by the National Museum in Riyadh); a door of the Kaaba dating to 1355 (loaned by the National Museum in Riyadh), and a key of the Kaaba (loaned by the Department of Islamic Art at the Musée du Louvre).

Alongside the exhibition opening, Louvre Abu Dhabi will organise a three-day celebration featuring a performance called “On the Roads of Arabia” – a creation from music, dances and poetry by 80 artists from the Arabian Peninsula, Africa, Mediterranean, Indian Ocean, India, Indonesia and China with a contemporary, calligraphic street art drawing designed by Tunisian artist Koom. The cultural program accompanying Roads of Arabia: Archaeological Treasures of Saudi Arabia will also feature film screenings selected by Hind Mezaina, curatorial talks, as well as a range of education workshops and guided tours related to the exhibition.

Entrance to the exhibition is free with the museum ticket. Visitors can tour the exhibition through a multimedia guide that is available in Arabic, English and French.


‘The Queen’s Gambit’ to be turned into a musical 

‘The Queen’s Gambit’ to be turned into a musical 
Updated 15 min 57 sec ago

‘The Queen’s Gambit’ to be turned into a musical 

‘The Queen’s Gambit’ to be turned into a musical 

DUBAI: Hit 2020 Netflix show “The Queen’s Gambit” is getting turned into a stage musical.   

This week, production company Level Forward obtained the theatrical stage rights to the award-winning show and is expected to develop a musical adaptation of the series.

 

The mini-series tells the story of orphan Beth Harmon who masters chess in 1960s America. But child stardom comes at a price for the young introvert.

It is based on a novel of the same name written by author Walter Tevis in 1983. 

The show recently won the Golden Globes for Best Television Limited Series, Anthology Series or Motion Picture Made for Television. Actress Anya Taylor-Joy also scored the prize for best lead performance.


Hindash reveals first product from beauty line 

Hindash reveals first product from beauty line 
Updated 24 min 20 sec ago

Hindash reveals first product from beauty line 

Hindash reveals first product from beauty line 

DUBAI: Celebrity makeup artist Mohammed Hindash has revealed the first product from his new beauty line on Instagram. 

The Dubai-based artist’s first product in his Hindash Cosmetic ranges, which is expected to hit the market this month, is a palette called Beautopsy. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by hindash (@hindash)

It “is a pressed pigment gradient palette that consists of vegan, multi-use shades that can be used as eyeshadow, blush, contour, highlight, eyeliner and brow powders,” Hindash wrote to his 1.1 million followers. 

The “buildable formula” consists of 12 shades in six gradient pans that are said to work on all skin tones.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by hindash (@hindash)

The palette is inspired by his background as a painter, he said on Instagram. 

He has worked with some of the world’s most renowned celebrities, such as British model Naomi Campbell, “Mean Girls” actress Lindsay Lohan, US model Chanel Iman, Egyptian actress Mona Zaki and more. 


Saudi artist’s video-game-inspired work grabs global attention

Saudi artist’s video-game-inspired work grabs global attention
Much of Khaled Makshoush’s work involves a reimagining of local landscapes, especially the streets of Riyadh. (Supplied)
Updated 09 March 2021

Saudi artist’s video-game-inspired work grabs global attention

Saudi artist’s video-game-inspired work grabs global attention
  • Much of Makshoush’s work involves a reimagining of local landscapes, especially the streets of Riyadh

JEDDAH: When Khaled Makhshoush first began creating his pixel art as a hobby in 2016, he saw it simply as a means of creative expression stemming from his interest in playing and developing video games.
He never imagined that, within five years, he would have set himself up as a professional freelance artist whose work is in demand from clients all over the world and been commissioned to create art for Paris Fashion Week.
“It certainly did not happen overnight,” the 28-year-old artist, who was born and raised in Riyadh, told Arab News, adding that he used to be delighted to receive a few hundred likes when he posted his work on social media. Now, practically every post receives thousands of thumbs-up from admirers, both international and local.
“I’m very happy with that. And I am honored that people like my stuff because I do still remember the time that I wasn’t an artist,” he said.
Although his blocky artworks — which resemble old-school 8-bit and 16-bit video games — may appear simplistic, Makshoush explained that each one can now take him up to a month to complete. That was not the case at first, however, when he took a “quantity-over-quality approach” and churned out a picture every day.
“In that period, I started to learn a lot about art and how to appreciate it. My focus shifted, and I felt like I could express things about me in my art,” he said.
“Looking back at that period, I can see it was very simplistic, like I was a child learning how to speak; a very simplistic self-learning (process), trying to experiment with color and different shapes. But it quickly became a very personal experience to me, and I feel like it’s made me more mature.” As he learned more about the techniques behind pixel art, he added, each piece took longer to complete.
Much of Makshoush’s work involves a reimagining of local landscapes, especially the streets of Riyadh.

FASTFACTS

• Khaled Makhshoush first began creating his pixel art as a hobby in 2016.

• Within five years, he became a professional freelance artist whose work is in demand from clients all over the world.

“I’m always attracted to the spaces around me and how the atmosphere — the lights and colors — changes (depending on) the time of day,” he said. “I like to express myself through space, and specifically modern places.”
His most popular artwork — “Early Evening” — depicts the streets of Riyadh not as they are, but as they exist in Makshoush’s mind, influenced by actual elements of the city.
“A lot of my audience isn’t based in the Middle East, and a lot of them thought I was drawing something futuristic, representing the cyber-punk aesthetic,” he said. “That made me think of how our cities have that unique outlook to them that we don’t really think about much.”
While pixel art has yet to gain a strong foothold in Saudi Arabia, Makhshoush has been surprised at how many people enjoy his aesthetic and feel a strong affinity towards his work, he said. Younger artists have been reaching out to tell him they have been inspired to try pixel art for themselves after viewing his work.
But it’s not only his visual style that makes Makhshoush a pioneer in the Kingdom’s art scene. Freelance artists are still a rarity in the country, but Makshoush said that local clients are beginning to show more interest in his work — perhaps reassured by the number of international clients he has produced work for over the past few years.
“In the beginning, I had a lot of things to figure out and I’ve encountered people who told me that my prices were too low,” he said. “It was certainly uncharted territory to make a living out of (pixel) art.”


Beirut stars in Lebanese author’s comical coming-of-age debut

Beirut stars in Lebanese author’s comical coming-of-age debut
Updated 08 March 2021

Beirut stars in Lebanese author’s comical coming-of-age debut

Beirut stars in Lebanese author’s comical coming-of-age debut

CHICAGO: Lebanese author A. Naji Bakhti’s debut is a comical coming-of-age tale of a boy growing up within the confines of post-civil-war Beirut.

With a Muslim father, Christian mother, and a curious little sister, the young Adam Najjar navigates adolescence in the vibrant coastal city.

In Bakhti’s “Between Beirut and the Moon,” Najjar flirts with adulthood as the Lebanese capital teeters between peace and conflict while flourishing in its multiple identities.

Despite the harsh realities of war and limited finances, and the difficult school yard choices children must make, there is a brightness to Najjar’s world that comes in the form of his family’s never-ending ability to adjust, his father’s books, and the scenarios that play out in his life.

A sharp wit and endless curiosity drown out the bombs falling around his sixth-floor apartment off Hamra Street in Ras Beirut as his family hides in the bathroom for safety.

Bakhti displays Beirut in all its multifaceted brilliance, pluralism, and conflicts and through Najjar, his family, and friends tries to make sense of the complex histories of characters, and religious and political tensions.

With the works of Lebanese writer Khalil Gibran and Palestinian poet Mahmoud Darwish nearby, a mother who wants him to live out his dream, and his father’s articles and obituaries, the Najjar family members force light into the dark corners of their lives.

In an old city that has built and rebuilt itself, Bakhti manages to convey the dream of a young boy, in a humorous way, when life wants to weigh him down.

Bakhti does not romanticize Beirut but creates an ever-increasing feel of belonging, and a love of the imperfect and sometimes dangerous. There is a fighting spirit for home, one that asks of his main character, why would you ever want to leave Beirut for the moon?

Because between Beirut and the moon, anything can happen. It is where life takes place.


Taylor Swift, BTS, Cardi B and more to perform at Grammys

Taylor Swift is set to perform at next week’s Grammy awards. File/AFP
Taylor Swift is set to perform at next week’s Grammy awards. File/AFP
Updated 08 March 2021

Taylor Swift, BTS, Cardi B and more to perform at Grammys

Taylor Swift is set to perform at next week’s Grammy awards. File/AFP

NEW YORK: Taylor Swift, BTS, Cardi B and Billie Eilish are set to perform at next week’s Grammy Awards.

The Recording Academy announced Sunday that Harry Styles, Bad Bunny, Post Malone, Megan Thee Stallion and Dua Lipa will also hit the stage at the March 14 event. The show will air live from the Staples Center in Los Angeles on CBS and Paramount+.

The Grammys were originally supposed to take place on Jan. 31 but were delayed because of the coronavirus pandemic. The academy said in a statement that “artists will be coming together, while still safely apart, to play music for each other as a community and celebrate the music that unites us all.”

Trevor Noah is hosting the show for the first time. Other performers include Chris Martin, John Mayer, Doja Cat, Maren Morris, DaBaby, HAIM, Lil Baby, Brandi Carlile, Roddy Ricch, Brittany Howard, Miranda Lambert, Mickey Guyton and Black Pumas.

Beyoncé is leading nominee with nine, followed by Swift, Lipa and Ricch, who each earned six nominations.